For a long time, he looked at me and seemed to weigh whether or not it was wise to tell me everything. He wasn’t sure whether or not he could trust me and he was afraid of saying the wrong things. But he was also an honest and emotional person, so he threw his doubts overboard and didn’t keep his knowledge to himself.
“When I had brought her out, there was some time left until she was supposed to be picked up,” he began to tell me, but quickly stopped and looked at me worried, not knowing, if I could stand his words. And he was right. It was hard for me to listen to him and I was sure he could see the jealousy and anger in my eyes. I was jealous, because he had had what I’ve been dreaming of since that day: time with my daughter. I was angry, because he had allowed himself to do that and had enjoyed it. But I think I would have done the same. At this thought, the annoyance died down and I relaxed again.
“I really would have liked to see you holding your daughter. I’m sure it suits you to hold a child,” I said and forced a smile.
Father Michael smiled, too, and continued to speak. “I washed her and dressed her before they came to get her,” he said.
My jaw just dropped and I tensed up again, because he had been given such intimate moments with her. But I wanted him to tell me about it. So, I took deep breaths and told myself to keep calm. I didn’t want to grudge him these few moments with his child. I gave him a nod and he continued.
“She was beautiful. She has your nose and mouth and my eyes,” he said full of admiration. He let his gaze wander, as he remembered. “She had lots of brown hair. I wonder from whom she got these?” he asked and looked at me, smiling. Seeing his facial expression, I had to smile. He seemed so proud. “She looked somewhat squashed up,” he grinned.
I had to laugh at his words. I could vividly imagine what she looked like.
“Her fingers and toes were so tiny,” he said, showing me with his fingers how small they had been. Smiling, he sighed. “She was so beautiful. Just a charming little miracle,” he breathed. He was totally wrapped up in worshipping his daughter. He looked at me again and I saw tears in his eyes. “Just like you,” he whispered.
“Was it very hard for you to give her away?” I asked and watched him closely.
“It was very hard.” It was only a whisper and I knew how much it hurt him to recall those moments. Father Michael lay down again and looked up to the angels at the ceiling. I rolled onto my side so I could look at him. “Dr. Anderson and his colleague Dr. Fields stayed with us to observe you for two more days as you had lost too much blood. Do you know that at all?” he asked and looked at me. I shook my head. I did remember the second doctor’s name, but I hadn’t seen him. Apart from that, I couldn’t remember anything. He nodded and said: “You didn’t realize it, because you slept much due to the high loss of blood. You got infusions, medication, which should compensate for the blood loss. Dr. Fields even brought additional units of blood.”
Hearing all this, I got the feeling, as if I had almost died. That’s strange. You almost die and don’t even know of it. “But your body was strong. You fought and contrary to all expectations the units of blood weren’t needed. Sometimes, you woke up and wanted to get up. The doctors decided to give you a sedative.”
“A sedative?” I asked. The idea of somebody putting a needle in me was horrible. I hated needles!
Father Michael nodded. “It really was necessary. You were very excited because of what had happened. When you weren’t allowed to see your child, you almost went insane. You wanted to get up and to go to her. But you absolutely could not do that. You should have seen yourself, Ada,” he said and looked at me, his face contorted with pain. “You looked like a ghost. Your skin was unnaturally white and almost transparent. You trembled all over. You couldn’t even lift your arm. I was so afraid of losing you,” he told me with tears in his eyes.
I took his hand in mine and squeezed it gently. It took him a moment to get a grip on himself. “Dr. Anderson and Dr. Fields were also deeply worried. It was absolutely necessary for you to rest. So, they gave you a sedative. Both doctors looked after you very well. When you were feeling better, they left us, but Dr. Anderson called me several times to inquire after you.”
“Where were you at that time?” I asked.
“I was with you, too,” he said, sounding quite disappointed about the fact, that I hadn’t felt his presence. “I wanted to be with you, when you wake up. And I was there, when you opened your eyes after almost forty-eight hours. Do you remember?” he asked
I looked down at his chest, watching it move with every breath he took. I did remember the moment I woke up and how relieved the Father had seemed. But I could also remember the pain. I don’t mean the physical pain. I had been able to manage that very well I had been better at managing that than managing the mental anguish, which had raged inside me and had almost killed me. Especially as I knew that Father Michael had been the person, who had kept my child from me. The memory really hurt.
“I really would like to see her, Michael,” I said, looking at him desperately. “I want to hold her. I want to be able to admire her and to remember her face just like you did.” He screwed up his face painfully. I was sure he could understand me very well. “Please, Michael,” I begged. “All I want is that one moment with her. I want to be happy. Just for one moment.”
“Ada,” he whispered. Distressed, he looked at me.
Would he really refuse to let me do that?
“But maybe I’m not intended to be happy,” I said and turned onto my back. Again, I cried. “Maybe I don’t deserve to be happy,” I said, covering my face with my hands.
“What makes you think that?” Father Michael asked, taken aback. I felt his fingers on my wrists, as he took my hands from my face, so I couldn’t hide behind them any longer.
“Maybe I did something wrong in a previous life and must now pay for that,” I answered.
“Look at me, please,” the Father said. I saw deep worry lines on his forehead. “Everyone deserves to be happy. It doesn’t matter what was before,” he said, wiping off the tears of my skin. “I was hoping I would make you happy. At least a bit,” he said. I heard an incredible sadness in his voice. “Am I not making you happy? Not even for a little bit of time?”